Sankara SampradhAyam - 18

If one is said to be a follower of RAmAnuja siddhAnthA or that of MAdhwA or 'MEi-kaNdAr'[*literally, the one who saw the truth*], the mUla purushA of saiva siddhAntha madam-s, then it [*one's following*] is not an issue, dependent only on his birth [*into one of the families of followers*] and his personal faith on any of these paths.

By merely being a son of an iyEngAr or a 'puthran' of a rAoji or having been born in a family, affiliated to a saiva madAlayam, one is not considered to be a follower of any of these faiths. Nor does he become one, even after a self-declaration that he completely accepts a school with total faith. I don't say so. The very AchArya purushA-s themselves, of these sampradhAyams, say so.

"It is not sufficient to be born as an iyEngAr; nor is it adequate to have personal faith in vishistAdhvaitham; one who is born thus, should have got 'mudhrAdhAranam' (of sankha and chakra) on his body; should have been initiated into a mantra of MahA vishnu [*mantrOpadEsam*]. Only when he does the 'samAchrayanam' thus, he becomes a vishistAdhvaitin" - thus spake vaishnava AchAryAs.

In vaishnava sampradhAyam, it is sufficient to have this samAchrayanam, done once. On the contrary, one has to get the 'pancha-mudhra-dhAranam' done, according to MAdhwa siddhAnthA, every time one has the dharshan of his AchAryA. Even they [*MAdhwAs*] have mantrOpadEsam.

Though there is no mudhrAdhAranam in saiva siddhAnthA school, one has to get 'panchAkshara upadEsam'. They refer to this as 'dhIkkai'. It is the transformed form [*in Tamil*] of 'dhIkshai'.

Even in other sampradhAyams, only when some samskAram(s) is thus carried out, one will be considered to have become a follower of it.

Neither the birth nor the professed faith alone would make one a vaishnavaite or a mAdhwA or a saivaite. One has to mandatorily do a samskAram, exculsively for that. This has been emphasised by the respective AchAryA-s themselves.

If it is so, then there are many, amongst those wearing nAmam and sporting vibhUthi, who have not got samAchrayanam or mudhrAdhAranam or dhIkshai etc. and what could be the sampradhAyam, to which they can be said to belong ?

All such people are only smArthAs. It is a rather unknown fact to many!